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Blue Planet

Remains found in China may belong to third human lineage, traits suggest modern human features date back 300,000 years

china human
© Wu Liu et al. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (2019). DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1902396116
The virtually reconstructed HLD 6 skull.
A team of paleontologists at the Chinese Academy of Sciences, working with colleagues from Xi'an Jiaotong University, the University of York, the University of Chinese Academy of Sciences and the National Research Center on Human Evolution, has found evidence of a previously unknown human lineage. In their study, reported in Journal of Human Evolution, the group analyzed the fossilized jawbone, partial skull and some leg bones of a hominin dated to 300,000 years ago.

The fossils were excavated at a site in Hualongdong, in what is now a part of East China. They were subsequently subjected to both a morphological and a geometric assessment, with the initial focus on the jawbone, which exhibited unique features — a triangular lower edge and a unique bend.

The research team suggests that the unique features of the jawbone resemble those of both modern humans and Late Pleistocene hominids. But they also found that it did not have a chin, which suggests that it was more closely related to older species. They found other features that resemble hominins of the Middle Pleistocene, which, when taken together, suggested the individual most resembled a Homo erectus species. And that, they conclude, suggests a hybrid of modern human and ancient hominid.

Comment: See also: Ancient Chinese relics point to unbroken cultural links that began a million years ago, further discrediting Out of Africa theory say researchers

Ice Cube

Ice Age cave entrance found in Germany

Ice Age cave
© Tagesschau
Researchers report they have discovered the official entrance to an Ice Age cave near Engen, Germany, that nobody has entered for 16,000 years.

Although the cave was already known since the 1970s to archaeologists, until now, they had not discovered the original entrance. At that time, a hole was accidentally blasted into the cave ceiling during the construction of a sewage pipe, but the cave was not explored further.

New excavations began in 2021 and during six weeks of work archaeologists gathered more data but the original cave entrance remained undiscovered.

The cave is much larger than previously thought, the researchers discovered during geophysical measurements of the underground in April of this year, which were done in collaboration with the University of Heidelberg. It is thought to be several meters high and twenty meters deep. The research team managed to locate the entrance to the cave, which was previously underground.

Dr. Yvonne Tafelmaier of the University of Tübingen describes the find as a sensation. According to Tafelmaier, it is a unique situation. To find a site that researchers have hardly explored is a rare experience.

Blue Planet

Exquisite, 7,000 year old necklace found in child's grave in Jordan reveals complexity of its neolithic culture

© Alarashi et al., 2023, PLOS ONE, CC-BY 4.0 (creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/)
Final physical reconstruction of the necklace, today exposed at the new museum of Petra in Jordan.
A single accessory — an ornate necklace from a child's grave in ancient Jordan — provides new insights into social complexity of Neolithic culture, according to a study published August 2, 2023 in the open-access journal PLOS ONE by Hala Alarashi of the Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas, Spain, and the Université Côte d'Azur, France and colleagues.

Body adornments are powerful symbols that communicate cultural values and personal identities, and they are therefore highly valuable in the study of ancient cultures. In this study, Alarashi and colleagues analyze materials that adorned the body of an eight-year-old child buried in a grave at the Neolithic village of Ba'ja in Jordan, dating to between 7400 and 6800 BCE.

The materials in question comprise over 2,500 colorful stone and shell, two exceptional amber beads — the oldest known thus far in the Levant — along with a large stone pendant and a delicately engraved mother-of-pearl ring.

Comment: See also:

Blue Planet

Shift in East-Central Europe Bronze Age population revealed in DNA study

bronze age
© Nature Communications (2023). DOI: 10.1038/s41467-023-40072-9
The geographical and temporal context and genetic affinities of the analyzed Bronze Age individuals. A) Maps showing the locations of samples published in this study and the geographical range of their associated cultural entities; the size of the marker corresponds to the number of samples from each site. The map was created using QGIS 2.12.2 and basemap from NOAA National Geophysical Data Center. 2009: ETOPO1 1 Arc-Minute Global Relief Model. NOAA National Centers for Environmental Information. Accessed 2013. B) The age of the newly generated genomes (calculated as an average of 2σ BCE dates) corresponding to the temporal range of the archaeological cultures they are associated with.
A team of researchers with a wide variety of backgrounds from institutions in Poland, Sweden, the U.K., Czech Republic and Ukraine has learned more about the demographic history of people living in East-Central Europe during the Bronze Age by studying the genes of people living during that time. For their paper published in the journal Nature Communications, the group conducted genetic analyses of temporal bones and/or tooth remains of 91 people.

As the research team notes, most demographic research focused on early Europe has been quite generalized, spanning from the postglacial spread of hunter-gatherers to the growth of migration by farmers. In this effort, they sought to better understand such demographic events in better detail. To that end, they obtained and studied teeth and bones from people who lived in different parts of East-Central Europe during the Bronze Age.

Comment: For insight into the environmental shift that was occurring likely alongside these migrations, Laura Knight-Jadczyk in The Cosmic Context of Greek Philosophy, Part One writes:
One scenario is that the sun is being 'grounded', possibly by a massive oppositely charged object such as a companion star that could even be dark, i.e. a Brown Dwarf. If a companion star is approaching our solar system it could be responsible for both the increased meteor activity (because it propelled asteroid bodies from the Oort cloud towards our solar system) and also for the decreased solar activity ('grounding'). Keep in mind that solar activity is one of the main phenomena that allows the destruction of incoming asteroid bodies by exerting intense electric fields upon them. In this way, such a companion star could pose a major threat to life on earth by both sending comets towards the earth and deactivating the 'protection system' (increased solar activity in response to interlopers) against the threat of cometary impact.

As already noted, Anthony L. Peratt and his colleagues at Los Alamos Research Laboratories conducted plasma experiments and discovered that powerful plasma discharges take on some amazing shapes, including humanoid figures, humans with bird heads, rings, donuts, writhing snakes and so forth. It just so happens that these kinds of shapes have been recorded by ancestral humans the world over, most particularly in rock carvings known as petroglyphs. He writes:
The discovery that objects from the Neolithic or Early Bronze Age carry patterns associated with high-current z-pinches provides a possible insight into the origin and meaning of these ancient symbols produced by man. ...
A discovery that the basic petroglyph morphologies are the same as those recorded in extremely high-energy-density discharges has opened up a means to unravel the origin of these apparently crude, misdrawn, and jumbled figures found in uncounted numbers around the earth. [...]

Blue Planet

10,000 year old skeleton in São Paulo found to have Amerindian DNA like Indigenous people living there today

© André Strauss
The investigation that covered four different parts of Brazil carried out analysis of genomic data from 34 fossils, including larger skeletons and the famous mounds of shells and fishbones built on the coast.
An article published on July 31 in Nature Ecology & Evolution reveals that Luzio, the oldest human skeleton found in São Paulo state (Brazil), was a descendant of the ancestral population that settled the Americas at least 16,000 years ago and gave rise to all present-day Indigenous peoples, such as the Tupi.

Based on the largest set of Brazilian archaeological genomic data, the study reported in the article also offers an explanation for the disappearance of the oldest coastal communities, the residents of which built the icons of Brazilian archaeology known as "sambaquis," huge mounds of shells and fishbones used as dwellings, cemeteries and territorial boundaries. Archaeologists often refer to these monuments as shell mounds or kitchen middens.

Comment: See also: And check out SOTT radio's: MindMatters: America Before: Comets, Catastrophes, Mounds and Mythology


Very rare medieval pocket sundial discovered in Germany

Pocket Sundial
© Philipps University of Marburg
A sensational find during the excavation in the summer semester 2023: a wooden sundial and bronze in pocket format.
A rare Medieval sundial, which is approximately the size of a matchbox was discovered in the old town of Marburg, Germany.

According to a statement from Marburg University, students were digging a church site in the town when they discovered the sundial. The sundial is constructed of bronze and wood.

The old clock, which is thought to be from the late medieval era, is thought to have belonged to the Brethren of the Common Life, a monastic order that was founded in the Netherlands in the late 14th century. It was a community established by Gerard Groote, a Dutch Catholic deacon. Eventually, the Brethren spread to the Netherlands, Germany, and Switzerland. They settled in the old monastery structure from 1527, situated in the upper part of Marburg.

"The sensational find provides a clear insight into the meeting of a high level of knowledge in astronomy and mathematics with specialized craftsmanship on the threshold from the Middle Ages to modern times," explains the head of the educational excavation," Professor Dr. Felix Teichner said in a press statement.

According to Professor Teichner, of the Department of History and Cultural Studies at the Philipps University of Marburg, it's the first time an object like this has been found in Hesse, the German state, and not many such sundials are left.


Bronze Age arrowhead found in Switzerland made from meteorite that landed 1,000 km away

arrowhead meteorite
© Thomas Schüpbach/Journal of Archaeological Science
The arrowhead may have been made from a meteorite that landed 1,000 miles away.
There's nothing more badass than heading into battle with a space arrow in your quiver, and one Bronze Age dude (or lady) knew exactly how that felt. After scanning an area of Switzerland for archaeological artifacts made of meteoritic iron, researchers discovered a single arrowhead that had been forged from extraterrestrial metal.

Reporting their find in a new study, the authors explain how they searched through archaeological collections around Lake Biel, where they came across the projectile tip. Weighing 2.9 grams (0.1 ounces) and measuring 39.3 millimeters (1.5 inches) in length, the arrowhead was traced to a Bronze Age dwelling called Mörigen, which existed between 900 and 800 BCE.

Comment: And this isn't the first item that has been found to have been fashioned from a meteorite; and some researchers speculate this spate of raining meteors of the period not only contributed to the downfall of civilisations, but also may have been a catalyst for metallurgy:

Blue Planet

'Heart shaped' cranial deformation discovered on La Ferrería skulls from the 8th century in Mexico

cranial deformation
An archaeologist excavating human remains at La Ferrería Archaeological Zone in Durango state, Mexico. Multiple human remains were found during recent work at the site, including deformed skulls in the shape of a heart.
Skulls that may have been intentionally deformed into the shape of hearts have been discovered among human remains at an archaeological site in Mexico.

Researchers from Mexico's National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH) made the unusual discovery at La Ferrería Archaeological Zone in Durango state — located in the lower northwest of the country.

During recent excavations at the site, archaeologists discovered the skeletal remains of 16 individuals within the Casa Colorada architectural complex.

An archaeologist excavating human remains at La Ferrería Archaeological Zone in Durango state, Mexico. Multiple human remains were found during recent work at the site, including deformed skulls in the shape of a heart.

Comment: See also:

Blue Planet

Servants of Machu Picchu elite were from diverse backgrounds, new genome study reveals

Machu Picchu
© stock.adobe.com
DNA analysis offers new insights into A Yale-led research team has conducted the first genome-wide study of retainers who lived and worked at Machu Picchu.
A genetic analysis suggests that the servants and retainers who lived, worked, and died at Machu Picchu, the renowned 15th century Inca palace in southern Peru, were a diverse community representing many different ethnic groups from across the Inca empire.

The genomic data, described in a new study in Science Advances, is the first investigation of the genomic diversity of individuals buried at Machu Picchu and adjacent places around Cusco, the Inca capital. It builds upon previous archeological and bio-archaeological research, including a 2021 Yale-led study which found that Machu Picchu (AD 1420-1530) is older than was previously believed.

"The DNA analysis not only confirms the historical accounts that retainers were drawn from many different ethnic groups under Inca control, but it also demonstrates a much greater diversity of origins than had been suspected with individuals being brought from the entire empire," said archaeologist Richard Burger, the Charles J. MacCurdy Professor of Anthropology in Yale's Faculty of Arts and Sciences and lead researcher for the Machu Picchu project.

Comment: It seems to be a relatively common scenario whereby the elite are served by peoples they have conquered: Also check out SOTT radio's: MindMatters: America Before: Comets, Catastrophes, Mounds and Mythology


Thracian horseman tablet discovered in Bulgaria

Thracian horseman
© Bulgarian News Agency
A stone votive relief depicting the Thracian horseman was discovered on Thursday in the ancient city of Heraclea Sintica.

The Thracian horseman, also known as the Thracian rider, is a recurring motif depicted in reliefs of the Hellenistic and Roman periods in the Balkans, mainly between the 3rd century BC to the 3rd century AD.

"This is the first time we're discovering such a well-made votive tablet," Assoc. Prof. Lyudmil Vagalinski, who is leading the excavations in the ancient city, said.